Leaving the Year of the Rabbit and Welcoming the Year of the (Wood) Dragon!

This Year of the Dragon promises lots of activity for AE2C with our growing presence across the United States, allowing us to continue to support our mission by providing opportunities to exchange ideas and foster long-term relationships in the energy, environment, and commerce sectors in the United States and abroad.

The Year of the Dragon was preceded by the Year of the Rabbit – a year of hope, longevity, and prosperity. It was quite a year for AE2C, especially with our newest chapter in Massachusetts. They were ‘hopping’ in 2023 with a webinar in April on the International Energy Transition by providing a global perspective with an emphasis for Asian countries and an in-person event in November opening a dialogue on the important issues of the Federal government's Justice40 Initiative and Massachusetts climate activities with leaders of Pan-Asian communities in Massachusetts. Check out the article by Puja Vohra below for more details. The webinar and in-person events were moderated by two of our founding members, Melita Elmore and Jeanette Pablo, respectively, who were also featured in our Women’s History Month post. You can read about them and the other featured AE2C Women "who tell their stories" below.

Our Spring 2023 Asian American Pacific Islander Heritage Month Celebration event, sponsored and hosted by Edison Electric Institute, was not only livestreamed, but was our first in-person event in Washington, DC in 2023. This was also the first time an AE2C event was designated as a “Widely Attended Gathering” (WAG) under 5 CFR § 2635.204(g), allowing Federal Government employee participation without any ethics conflicts. The Career Advancement and Expanding Opportunities panel discussion veered away from a traditional career advancement discussion by exchanging views on family influences early-on, overcoming cultural differences, challenges and lessons learned by being different during the upward journey, and providing advice on achieving success in Corporate America. A special thanks goes out to our speakers Dr. Huiyi Jackson, Afroze Mohammad, Jeanette Pablo, Jimmy Rhee, and Benjamin Wu. A networking reception followed allowing for more in-depth one-on-one discussions.

In Houston, our chapter in 2023 supported the application of the Center for Houston’s Future before the US Department of Energy (DOE) to be awarded a grant as a Regional Hydrogen “Hub” authorized under the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law. AE2C would serve as a community outreach partner for the HyVelocity H2 Hub to develop and execute the Community Benefits Plan to ensure that the benefits of the hydrogen energy project would extend to the Asian American community both in Houston and throughout Texas. In October, DOE announced that the HyVelocity H2 Hub (now called the “Gulf Coast Hydrogen Hub”) would become one of seven national hydrogen hubs, and thus be eligible for $1.2 Billion in grant money. AE2C looks forward to playing a critical role in the energy transition through its service to the Gulf Coast Hydrogen Hub to ensure that members of our community can benefit from this federal program.

So, you see, the Year of the Rabbit set the stage for the growth, strength, and creativity in the Year of the Wood Dragon. In addition to the Gulf Coast Hydrogen Hub activities throughout the year, we will host the annual May AAPI Heritage Month event, currently scheduled to be in-person and livestreamed. And we are in the process of launching an AE2C chapter in California starting with a kickoff dinner in February and other activities in May. Stay tuned for more information on all the 2024 upcoming events. Happy New Year!